I’m not talking about getting turned down for a date–you’ll have to go to another blog for advice on that one. I’m talking about job rejection. Whether you’re about to graduate and applying for your first full-time position, you’re an eager student applying for summer internships, or you’re just looking to make a career change, there’s a chance you could be facing some rejection sometime soon.
Getting a rejection letter or email for a job that you carefully crafted a cover letter and tailored your resume to can be pretty discouraging, but I prefer to think on the bright side of things and I’ve come up with some ways to handle rejection and turn it into something positive.
1. Learn from it
Maybe you can pin-point what you said (or didn’t say) that caused your job-quest to end in rejection, or maybe you’re not quite sure. Go back through the job description and look at the skills and think of ones you might not have highlighted enough or ones you could improve on. Think back to the interview process and consider what you might have done better or changed. Use this opportunity to reflect and improve.
2. Understand it
In a perfect world, every employer would call the people they reject and tell them exactly why they aren’t getting hired. Unfortunately, that’s usually not the case and it’s up to you to figure it out. Try and think about the office atmosphere, the type of work they do, and the way they do it. You might have had all the qualifications, but not have been the right fit for that company. If they didn’t think you were a right fit for them, they probably weren’t a right fit for you anyway.
3. Use it to your advantage
In interviews you might get asked “what’s your biggest failure?” or “talk about a time you didn’t succeed and how you handled it”. Job rejection is a perfect scenario to use in an answer to this question. You will learn from it and it will help you along the way, whether you realize it now or not, and employers will be impressed with how you handled it and all the ways you used it to become a better PR pro.
4. Chin up, soldier
Remember, there are hundreds of opportunities out there for you. Don’t let one rejection get you down or stand in your way of doing the best you can. Keep looking for jobs and internships and you’ll find the right one, even if it’s somewhere you might not expect.
How have you handled job rejection? We want to hear from you.